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Monument record MDR166 - Shall Cross, junction of Old Lane and Elnor Road, Whaley Bridge

Type and Period (1)

  • (Saxon - 800 AD to 1065 AD)

Protected Status/Designation

Full Description

In 1905 the shaft of a sun-dial in the gardens of Fernilee Hall was examined and found to be the upper portion of a cross shaft. Excavation found it to be nearly five feet long and three feet in circumference near the base. It was not in situ, but was believed to have been at Fernilee Hall for about 100 years. It has the initials H L and the date 1720 carved upon it and the suggestion was made that the initials are those of a government official marking the cross as a record of a boundary survey made in 1720. According to tradition, the stone had been brought down from the old road above the hall, and it was therefore suggested that the original site had been at Elnor Lane Head, Shallcross, where four roads join. It was also suggested that it was originally called Shacklecross, a name recorded in numerous documents of the 13th and 14th centuries. (1) In the garden of Fernilee Hall there was part of a cross-shaft 5 ft high, let into the ground and forming the support of a sundial. The shaft is circular in section at the bottom, where the girth is 35", tapering with strong entasis to 32 ins at a point 13 ins from the top, where it is worked into a square shaft. On the remaining portion of the square part are the lower parts of round bottomed panels formed by the transition of round to square. The shaft is encircled with a double bead at the junction of the round and square parts. The shaft closely resembles one in the south porch of Bakewell Church. (2) A cross which is believed to have stood at the junction of several old roads at Elnor Lane Head, just outside the ancient parish of Chapel-en-le Frith is supposed to be the original Shallcross. For many years in the grounds of Fernilee Hall, it has now been restored to its original position. Quite recently a stone believed to be part of the Shallcross has been discovered built into a garden gateway at Shallcross Hall. (3) This restored cross shaft is at SK 01637964. It carries simple decoration and a poorly inscribed date (1706?) which is probably not original. Restoration has included stone capping and a sun-dial, the gnomen of which is now missing. Shallcross Manor is now ruinous, no portion of a cross could be seen. (4) In 1936 the Shall Cross was moved from Fernilee Hall where it was serving as a sundial. Locally it was thought to have come from the old packhorse road. The Lane is on a map of 1640 and the Shall Cross is presumed to be one of the crosses that marked the lane. In the late 1940s a housing estate was built nearby and most of the drystone wall that surrounded the cross was taken. In 1987 and 1988 proposals were made to rebuild the surrounding wall and to have a plaque. (5) Photographs taken of the cross in 1987 and early 1989 show the drystone wall around the monument as almost entirely destroyed with the exception of the former entrance posts into the enclosure. (6) Lower part of round-shafted cross of unknown provenance. There is no evidence that this monument ever functioned as a boundary marker since it is strictly unprovenanced. A walled compound has recently (in the last four years) been built around the shaft [actually rebuilt]: the incomplete and later sundial is still attached. (8) The Shall Cross, Whaley Bridge, was scheduled in 1967, with the scheduling description being revised in 1994. The scheduled monument is a late 9th or 10th century high cross comprising a gritstone cross shaft mortared onto a modern paving slab. Originally the shaft may have been set into a socle or socket stone but this is now missing, together with the cross head which would formerly have been mounted on the shaft. The latter was replaced in the 18th or 19th century by a sundial set in a dressed gritstone capital. At the very top of the shaft on the south side is a graffito consisting of the initials HL above a box containing the date 1728. This provides an earliest possible date for the sundial since it would have been difficult, if not impossible, to inscribe the graffito with the sundial in place. This sundial appears to have been taken from a pre-existing feature than than being purpose made, since it does not fit the shaft either in style or scale. The shaft is located inside a purpose-built dry-walled enclosure which defines the area of the scheduling. The Shall Cross is one of a number of early medieval crosses on the Derbyshire-Cheshire border and probably served as a wayside cross or as a boundary marker. (9)

Sources/Archives (9)

  • <1> Article in serial: Andrew, W. 1905. 'The Shall-Cross, a pre-Norman Cross, now at Fernilee Hall', Derbyshire Archaeological Journal. Volume 27, pp 201-214.
  • <2> Article in serial: Routh, T. 1937. 'A corpus of the pre-Conquest carved stones of Derbyshire', Derbyshire Archaeological Journal. Volume 58, pp 1-46. p 31.
  • <3> Bibliographic reference: Bunting, W B. 1940. Chapel-en-le-Frith. pp 16-17.
  • <4> Personal Observation: F1 JB 10-JAN-66.
  • <5> Unpublished document: County Treasure Recording Form. Unnumbered, with photos.
  • <6> Photograph: Photograph Collection, Conservation & Design section, Derbyshire County Council.
  • <7> Index: NDAT. 0519.
  • <8> Correspondence: Sidebottom, P. 1994. Letter regarding Anglo-Saxon stone monuments in Derbyshire, 15th February, 1994. Letter.
  • <9> Scheduling record: 1994. Scheduling Revision: Anglo Scandinavian high cross known as the Shall Cross. National Monument No. 23354. HER Cat. No. 184.



Grid reference Centred SK 0163 7964 (5m by 5m) (Centre)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

  • EDR955

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Record last edited

Jun 29 2016 4:45PM

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